Treatment of dysphagia in Parkinson’s disease

Ronald Pfeiffer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Dysphagia is frequently present in individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Abnormalities may be localized to the oral, pharyngeal, or esophageal level and may be evident even in the early stages of the disease. Individuals with dysphagia have an increased risk for aspiration, and silent aspiration may be present in up to one-third of patients with PD. The modified barium swallow (MBS) study is the standard screening test for dysphagia in PD, but it is important to remember that esophageal abnormalities may not be visualized on the MBS and a barium esophagram should be considered if the MBS is negative. Surgical treatment may be curative for structural abnormalities such as a Zenker’s diverticulum, but when the problem is due to oropharyngeal or esophageal dysmotility, speech/swallowing therapy is the most effective treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCurrent Clinical Neurology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Publication series

NameCurrent Clinical Neurology
ISSN (Print)1559-0585


  • Aspiration
  • Dysphagia
  • Esophageal
  • Oropharyngeal
  • Zenker’s

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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